Google Maps’ reviewing system has provided a platform for Nazi sympathizers and antisemitic harassment for years. It’s a quiet example of the trillion-dollar tech giant’s disinterest in moderation—and a loud warning about how easy it is for the far right to appropriate online services.Most items in Google Maps are treated like businesses which can be owned and managed, reflecting a system fundamentally designed to monetized. While this makes sense for restaurateurs and shopkeepers, it makes less sense for other locations, such as genocide memorials.
You don’t have to go far on Google to find evidence of obvious moderation-at-scale issues. Reviews of Holocaust-related apps in the Google Play store, for example, are a miserable library of denialist rhetoric and misinformed debate.
For Google Maps, though, the issue goes beyond user-provided comments and reviews. It’s structurally bound to how their mapping system treats memorials.
As memorials are structured like businesses ……
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